When you walk into a coffee shop, the variety of drinks on the menu can be a cause for anxiety. There might be so many options, and you might not know which to choose. If you are also a coffee shop owner, you have a wide variety of drinks that you can offer to your customers. To drink the best type of coffee, or to provide the best coffee, you have to know the different kinds of coffee drinks. You also should know the different kinds of coffee beans on the market. In this post, we will discuss these different types of coffee from the common to the exotic. Coffee beans come from the coffee species, and there is a wide variety of these plants. Just as with several other fruits, the coffee plant comes in a wide range of options. Despite the wide array of coffee species in nature, there are just two commercially viable species. These are the Arabica and Robusta species.
Arabica beans in the most popular type of coffee beans found on the market. This species makes up the most significant chunk of commercially produced coffee in the world.
As it accounts for up to 60 % of the total coffee production in the world, the chances are that the cup of coffee in your hand is from Arabica beans.
Robusta beans are not as dominant as Arabica on the market. However, these beans deliver a stronger flavor of the coffee. They are also quite strong and bitter and are preferred by folks that want a really strong, full-bodied cup of Joe. Additionally, these coffee beans contain almost twice as much caffeine as that found in Arabica beans.
Aside from the Robusta and Arabica beans, there are other types. The most popular of these other lesser-known coffee beans are Liberica and Excelsa.
Liberica is grown only in the Philippines while the Excelsa is grown in Southeast Asia and makes up around 7% of the total consumption in the world.
Now that you know the popular type of coffee beans let us now consider these types in detail. It promises to be a fascinating read.
According to research, there are up to 30 types of coffee in the world. The ones we discussed in this post are the most popular.
From these 30 types of coffee come the different variations, flavors, aromas, and additives. When these are considered, the types of drinks you can get from coffee are nearly unlimited. There are also several types of coffee beans in the world.
We begin with the Arabica. This coffee bean is the most popular type of coffee beans in the world. It is loved by coffee enthusiasts around the globe and accounts for up to 70% of the world’s coffee production.
Arabica coffee beans are grown at high altitudes and are thus referred to as the mountain variety. To grow correctly, they require steady rainfall and shade.
Although grown at high altitudes, Arabica is the ‘softest’ of the coffee beans varieties. It is not as tough or hardy as the other coffee beans. Therefore, a deviation from the perfect growing environment can severely destroy the crop. Additionally, they are also the most vulnerable coffee beans to be infected by coffee diseases.
They do not have as bitter a taste or as strong a flavor as other coffee beans. Aside from taste, another way to identify or differentiate these beans from others is that they have lighter and brighter colors.
Many people love the complex layers of taste and deep aroma, a hot cup of Arabica coffee produces. No wonder, therefore, that it is the most popular type of coffee beans.
A note of warning when brewing the Arabica coffee beans: The complex flavor can be lost if you use creamers, sugars, or cold brewing methods. Hence, they are best served hot and made through hot brewing methods.
The Robusta is the next coffee beans on our list, and for a good reason. After Arabica, this coffee bean is the most popular type of coffee beans.
It isn’t loved for the brewing methods; instead, the Robusta is loved because of the full-bodied, bitter taste. It doesn’t hurt that it contains twice as much caffeine as the Arabica coffee beans.
The Robusta is hardier than the Arabica and grows in harsher climes. It thrives in a hot climate and doesn’t require as much rainfall. It also has stronger resistance to diseases than Arabica coffee beans. Whereas the Arabica is grown in small batches, the Robusta’s hardiness allows it to be produced in much larger batches.
As the coffee has a deep, intense, and bitter taste, it absorbs the milk, creams, and sugar without losing too much of its depth and complexity. If you also want a caffeine kick, there’s no better coffee.
Earlier in the introduction, we briefly talked about the Liberica and Excelsa strains of coffee beans. The two coffee beans are quite similar to Excels is a sub-variety of the Liberica species.
Despite coming from the same stock, Excelsa and Liberica come with very different coffee profiles.
The Liberica enjoyed its most significant period of dominance in the late 18th century when the infamous coffee rust eliminated 90% of the worlds’ Arabica coffee. Today, the coffee is nowhere as famous and is majorly grown in the Philippines. It lost its dominance after trade ties were cut between the USA and the Philippines.
If you have the opportunity to drink coffee from the Liberica coffee bean, you will notice that it has a woody flavor coupled with a fruity aroma.
The Excelsa coffee bean is the third most common coffee bean after the Arabica and Robusta. Thus, it is relatively easier to find than the Liberica. The plant it is obtained from grows up to 30 feet in height, which is enormous compared to the 6 feet trees Arabica is gotten from.
The Excelsa is not usually brewed alone; instead, it serves as a supplement to coffee blends. It has a lightly roasted taste and aroma, which many find appealing.
We earlier mentioned that Robusta and Arabica come with different tastes. The Arabica coffee beans come with a heady aroma and a slightly sweet flavor. The Robusta, on the other hand, comes with a harsh, bitter taste.
Aside from the taste, there are several other differences between the two most common coffee beans.
The caffeine concentration between the two types of coffee beans is different. Arabica has less caffeine than Robusta.
It is because of this increased caffeine concentration that Robusta tastes harsher and more bitter than Arabica.
Robusta coffee beans come with a higher level of chlorogenic acid. The acid makes it taste harsh. It also has less amount of sugar compared with Arabica.
Arabica might be more common than Robusta, but that is because it has a higher demand. Furthermore, Arabica is more challenging to cultivate than Robusta. All these factors make the Arabica more expensive than Robusta.
While coffee beans affect the taste and aroma of your cup of coffee, the coffee brew methods and drinks are some of the most significant differences in coffee. There are a plethora of brew methods out there, and each of these methods gives coffee its different tastes and flavors. In this section, we will consider some of the most sought-after and loved coffee drinks you can find.
The most common or basic coffee types are black coffee, coffee with milk or sugar, and espresso.
Also known as plain coffee, this is coffee that comes right out of the carafe. It has nothing added to it. Thus, it gives an undiluted coffee flavor and aroma.
For folks that cannot tolerate the dark, bitter taste of black coffee, sugar and milk provide some respite. This coffee is brewed just like black coffee; however, after the brewing process, milk and/or sugar is added to sweeten the drink. This alters the flavor and can affect the resulting aroma.
Cappuccino – The cappuccino is the lattes’ ‘sibling.’ There isn’t a lot of difference between the two drinks. The significant difference between the two coffee types is that the cappuccino features more foam than the latte. Additionally, it has some chocolate on top instead of micro-foam. Lastly, the cappuccino is classier as it comes in a cup rather than the tumbler glass the latte comes in.
Flat White – This type of coffee is made like a cappuccino; however, it lacks the foam or chocolate found on a cappuccino. It does come with the steamed milk to make it sweeter.
Short Macchiato – The short macchiato is very similar to the espresso. However, instead of the bitter, concentrated drink that is espresso, short macchiato comes with a dollop of steamed milk and foam. The dressing acts to reduce the sharp, dark taste of espresso.
To make the short macchiato is rather easy. It is a combination of a shot of espresso and a dollop of steamed milk on the surface of the espresso.
Long Macchiato – As the double espresso is to the espresso, so is the long macchiato to the short macchiato. Instead of the single espresso shot, the long macchiato comes with a double shot of espresso. After the double espresso has been brewed, a dollop of steamed milk and foam is placed on the espresso.
Americano – This coffee drink is believed to have its beginnings in the Second World War. It has a ratio of a single shot of espresso diluted with 3 oz. of hot water. The hot water dilutes the espresso, although it still maintains a high caffeine level.
Café Latte – The café latte, or latte as it is more popularly known, is an espresso-based drink. It is made the same way as espresso, and after the espresso is brewed into the cup, steamed milk and micro-foam is added to the espresso. Due to the milk and foam dressing, it is not as harsh or bitter as the espresso.
Piccolo Latte – In simple terms, the piccolo latte is precisely like a café latte. In fact, it is a café latte. The only difference is that it comes in an espresso cup. The small cup means a stronger taste. To make a piccolo latte, you can use an espresso shot or one ristretto shot.
Espresso is both a method of brewing and a coffee type. The coffee is ground and finely packed. To create the espresso, a little amount of water is added. Thus, the coffee is ‘strong’ and has a thick taste. It is one of the hardest types of coffee to make.
There are different variations of espresso drinks, as well.
Double Espresso – Double espresso, as the name implies, has a ratio of two shots of espresso. The drink is very concentrated and strong.
Ristretto – This espresso drink comes with the same amount of coffee. However, it is made with half the amount of water used for espresso.
Cortado – This type of espresso has a little amount of warm milk added. The milk will reduce the acidity of the brew.
Espresso Romano – This is a special espresso brew that is made the same way espresso is made. However, the difference lies in the accompanying lemon slice.
Guillermo – It is similar to the Espresso Romano. The difference is that the hot espresso is poured over lime slices and is usually served on ice.
Lungo – Earlier, we discovered the Ristretto, which is an espresso that is made with half the amount of water. This drink is the reverse Ristretto. Instead of half the amount of water, it is made with more water.
Caffe Gommosa – also an espresso drink, but it is poured over a marshmallow.
Instant coffee is a coffee drink that is obtained from brewed coffee beans. The coffee is brewed then through manufacturing processes, is dehydrated into powder or granules. They are super-easy to make as all you need is to add hot water. They taste almost like regular coffee, although they do not offer the same rich aroma that will get from a standard cup of Joe.
There are several brands of instant coffee on the market. Some of the most popular brands include Kenco, Moccona, Nescafe, Golgers, and UCC.
Vienna – To make a Vienna, add two shots of strong espresso together. Instead of milk and sugar, add whipped cream. The drink offers drinkers a strong flavor of espresso while balancing it out with the smooth taste of cream.
Affogato – The Affogato is a delicious coffee drink. It is a dessert coffee that is made by placing a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a shot or two of espresso. The contrasting vanilla sweetness and espresso harshness make for a truly excellent drink to be enjoyed in summer and after dinner.
Mocha – The Mocha is another delicious coffee drink. It is a combination of cappuccino and hot chocolate. Making Mocha is an art. First, you should mix the chocolate powder with an espresso shot. Afterward, add steamed milk and a dollop of microfoam. For a more delicious drink, you can sprinkle some of the chocolate powder on top.
Café Bombon – This is a Spanish coffee drink. It is an espresso that is made with sweetened condensed milk.
Café Cubano – Also, another type of espresso, this Cuban coffee drink comes with demerara sugar.
Ca Phe sua da – This excellent coffee comes from Vietnam. Cap he sua da literally translates to iced milk coffee. From the name, it is quite clear how it is made. It is a mix of black coffee and sweetened condensed milk. The mixture is then poured over ice to give a chilled, delicious taste.
Egg Coffee- Another Vietnamese drink, the egg coffee is coffee that contains egg yolk, sugar, and condensed milk.
Irish Coffee – Irish coffee is a fiery drink that is made of coffee, cream, and coffee. To reduce the harsh taste, sugar is sometimes added.
Turkish Coffee – Turkish coffee is a relatively popular coffee type. It is very popular in the Middle East. To make Turkish coffee, ground coffee is soaked in water until the foam forms.
This type of coffee is a mixture of brewed coffee, unsalted butter, and coconut oil. It tastes as great as the ingredients sound. If you are on a low-carb diet, you can drink this coffee as a breakfast alternative. We think you should still eat breakfast because bulletproof coffee does not contain all the essential nutrients your body needs.
Butter coffee is like Bulletproof coffee, and it contains medium-chain triglycerides along with the unsalted butter and brewed coffee.
Geisha coffee is from Ethiopia. It features a wonderful aroma and distinctive flavor. It currently is the most expensive coffee drink per cup. Depending on the origin of the coffee beans, Geisha coffee has a flowery, fruit-like taste. It can offer hints of pawpaw, orange, mango, and several other fruits. It usually leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
It is so expensive because it needs unique cultivating conditions, has a unique aroma and taste, and is the top-rated coffee-by-coffee experts from all around the world.
The Kopi Luwak coffee is arguably the strangest coffee drink you will ever drink. It is also one of the most expensive coffee drinks! It comes from the civet cat, no that is not a fruit but an actual animal.
The civet cat loves coffee cherries, and love to snack on them. After eating the coffee berries, the beans are not digested by the civet cat; instead, they are fermented in the digestive system. After a day, the cat excretes the coffee beans. It is then harvested, washed, dried, sorted, and roasted.
The final brew is a smooth, nutty, soft drink that doesn’t have the bitterness associated with coffee.
There are several ways to brew coffee, and each method affects the quality, taste, and aroma of your beverage. Now, let us consider some of the most popular methods of brewing coffee.
Drip Coffee – In this method, the coffee is placed on a paper filter, and hot water is poured on it. Since there is a filter, the water drains out and drips into the carafe. Gravity ensures the water drips out of the grounds, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee.
French Press Coffee – In this method of brewing, you will require the French press brewer. The coffee is first made using the brewer; then, a plunger is applied to the coffee. The resulting pressure acts to separate the brew from the coffee grounds.
Cold Brew Coffee – This method, as the name implies, is done using cold water. The cold water is left in the coffee grounds for an extended period; the brew is then extracted to give a cold coffee beverage. By leaving the coffee in room temperature water for an extended time, the coffee ends up being less bitter while retaining a high caffeine content.
Iced Coffee – It is similar to the cold brew method described above. However, the coffee is first prepared using hot water. Afterward, it is cooled in ice before it is served.
Percolated coffee – This is a very interesting method. Here, the hot water is cycled through the coffee grounds with the aid of gravity until the desired strength is achieved.
Moka method – The method requires the use of a Moka pot. Coffee is brewed in the Moka pot. The pot passes water through the ground coffee using pressurized steam.
Siphon Coffee – This brewing method requires a pair of chambers. In these chambers, vapor pressure and vacuum are used to produce the final brew.
Espresso- To make this brew, hot water is pressurized and passed through a filter that contains ground dark roasted beans. It can be done using an espresso machine or a cappuccino. The force of the water is what produces the highly concentrated coffee shot espresso is known for.
Ristretto – This method is quite similar to the espresso method. Just as with the espresso method, the pressurized water passes through the coffee grounds. The difference between this method and the espresso method is that you will use half the amount of pressurized water used in making espresso. Thus, the brew is more concentrated and darker.
The difference between Varieties and Varietals
If you have an avid interest in coffee beans, you will likely have come across these terms.
The coffee variety refers to the specific subspecies of the coffee plant. Varietal, on the other hand, indicates the product derived from single species of coffee.
The best coffee bean for you depends on your taste. Taste is subjective; therefore, what is appealing to one person might not be appealing to the other. For example, some folks enjoy the harsh, bitter taste of plain coffee. Others cannot drink coffee without adding cream, milk, or sugar.
If you want a relatively sweeter taste in your coffee, even without adding sugar, then the Arabica might be the ideal coffee bean for you. If, on the other hand, you desire a sharp, bitter taste, then the Robusta will meet your needs.
Most brands on the market offer a blend of the two types of coffee.
For beginners, a latte or Mocha is a natural step into the world of coffee drinking. These types of coffee are common and offer a sweet, smooth, milky taste. They also have a slight bitterness of coffee. Another excellent option for beginners is the espresso.
What an extensive list! As you can see above, there are so many different coffee drinks out there. Each one delivers a unique flavor that can make it hard to have a favorite. In light of the wide variety of coffee drinks, beans and types available, it is no wonder that some folks travel around the world all in a quest to drink as many types of coffee as possible. While you might not have the chance to travel around for coffee, this post has listed and described some of the most exotic coffee drinks you can enjoy.
We hope that this post has dramatically improved your knowledge about the different types of coffee that you can enjoy. The next time you walk into the coffee shop, why don’t you skip the regular kind of coffee you drink and opt for another type? We believe that a whole new world of coffee-powered adventure awaits your senses and taste buds!